Lincoln County High School’s Lady Falcon season came to an end Friday night, falling to Blackman in the first round of the Region 4 Tournament.
It was a tough draw for the ladies – the Lady Blaze brought a 24-3 record into the match-up with their only losses coming from powerhouse Riverdale Lady Warriors. In the first round of region play, Columbia is the only District 8-AAA team to advance. Franklin County and Shelbyville were both defeated.
The ladies wrap up their season with a 22-11 overall record. It’s the fifth time in school history for the ladies’ team to hit the 20-plus win mark.
LCHS advanced to region action defeating Shelbyville in the District 8-AAA consolation game Monday night in a barnburner. Cortney Storey was selected to the All-District 8-AAA and All-District 8-AAA tournament teams.
“I’m really proud of the kids,” said Coach Herman Hardin. “We were down 21-9 at the end of the first quarter, but the girls stayed in it. From that point on, we played some great basketball against a very good team – we were a 3-pointer here and there to being into the thick of things – we played hard until the buzzer.
“Blackman has a very good team,” Coach Hardin continued. “They’ve got two of the best freshmen point guards in the country coming back and a strong inside game.
“I’m proud of our effort all year long,” he added. “It was a great year finishing with a 22-11 record. These seniors have worked hard and have a lot to be proud of.”
Wrapping up their careers as Lady Falcons are seniors Khiana Miller, Shy Buchanan, Cecilee Dickens. Rebecca Hone, Whitney Graham and Elizabeth Faulkner.
In the district consolation game, the ladies won over Shelbyville at the wire, 45-44.
The Lady Falcons went down twice to the Lady Eagles in the regular season, by five points in their first game and one in the second.
Monday night the ladies played catch-up much of the game, never having the lead until late in the third quarter.
Shelbyville was up 12-7 at the end of one.
In the second, the ladies trailed by as many as 8, down 17-9. Down by six, Shy Buchanan cut the margin nailing a three-pointer with 1:27 in the period. The Lady Eagles dropped one from the line in the final minute and took a 22-18 lead into the intermission.
With 6:27 in the third, the ladies were down by six, 26-20, but Cortney Storey scored a basket and a three-pointer in their next two possessions. At the 4:22 mark, McKinley Slayton hit a three, knotting it at 28-28. Khaila King gave the ladies their first lead of the night, scoring with 1:09 in the period, and the Lady Falcons were up, 33-32, at the end of three. The ladies won the period, 15-10.
In the final stanza, the lead changed eight times. Shelbyville was on top, 44-43, with 17.7 seconds remaining in the game. In the Lady Falcons’ final possession, Storey drove into the paint and made the basket with 4.03 seconds on the clock. The Lady Eagles had to go the length of the floor and took a desperation 3-pointer that missed its mark, and the Lady Falcons had the win.
Storey led for the ladies with 18 points. Morgan Higgins and McKinley Slayton scored 10; Khaila King, 4; and Shy Buchanan had 3.
LCHS was 11 of 28 from the paint and 4 of 12 from the arch. From the line, the ladies were 11 of 14. Slayton had 2 from downtown; Storey and Buchanan had 1.
Both teams pulled 27 rebounds. Higgins led with 7, and King had 6. The ladies had 9 turnovers; Shelbyville had 8.
Friday night the ladies battled with one of the tougher teams in the state and went down on the road, 52-37.
Blackman didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor or line, going 1 of 9 from the arch and 5 of 15 from the stripe. But, their inside game offensively, with three starters at 6′, 6’1″ and 6’5″, got the job done, shooting 60 percent inside. The shots didn’t fall for the Lady Falcons outside.
At the end of one, the Lady Blaze was up 21-9.
They took the second period, 13-9, and the Lady Blaze was up, 34-18, at the intermission.
The Lady Falcons stopped the bleeding in the second half, winning the third period 11-10. In the final stanza, both teams added 8 points, and Blackman finished with the win.
Cortney Storey led the scoring with 14 points. Khaila King had 7; Shy Buchanan and Elizabeth Faulkner, 5; Whitney Graham, 3; Morgan Higgins, 2; and Khiana Miller had 1.
The ladies were 12 of 31 inside and 2 of 22 from downtown. From the line, Lincoln County was 7 of 11.
The Lady Falcons surprisingly won the boards, 36-34, with Morgan Higgins pulling a season-high 15 rebounds.
LCHS gave up 16 points off 13 turnovers, while Blackman had 12, giving up 7 points.